Monthly Archives: July 2010

It’s NOT nice to be nice

My typist and I recently fell out after a profitable and amicable 7 year relationship. Was this because of irreconcilable differences? No. It was because of niceness.

My typist had a grandson coming to stay over the summer, just as I asked her to proofread DANNY 3/1. She didn’t want to do this because her grandson is 17 years old and she knew she would never be able to hide a book like DANNY from him. She was afraid he would see it on her computer and, assumably, discover his granny was a pervert. Or a hypocrite.

Instead of telling me she couldn’t do the proofreading, or finding a way to hide the book from her grandson, she wrote to me and told me categorically “yes, to the work”. Unfortunately, she then followed this up by telling me she was going password lock it because “I don’t want him to see reading material like that on MY computer”. Block capitals hers.

I wrote back to her and said I found this kind of comment hurtful and offensive, and that if she wanted to censor her grandson’s reading material she should just do it and not share her attitudes with me.

She wrote back to me and blamed me for not liking password locked documents (true; they cause problems in formatting during printing). She then said she was sick and stressed – something that had not been mentioned before – and now she couldn’t do the work.

In the course of three e-mails we had gone from “Yes, to the work” to “I no longer want to do this work”. Huffing was being huffed and sulking was being sulked. And it was all my fault.

I wrote back and told her I assumed she no longer wanted to work for me, now or in the future, and thanked her for all her hard work over the years. I even, foolishly, signed it “Love, Chancery”. Never sign an e-mail to an employee “Love” anything.

Very surprisingly, she sent me another e-mail, a terse one-liner telling me she “wouldn’t say never, just not at present”. With no love. And notably no apology. She had never made an apology, because, of course, it was all my fault for putting her in a bind like this, offering her work when it was inconvenient.

The e-mail she got back was long enough to constitute a work of non-fiction. It finished with the words “You are contemptible”

But really the whole ‘fight’ – if it can be graced with such a word, since no-one raised their voice till the bitter end – was due to niceness.

She was far too nice to tell me that she didn’t want to type my filthy book in her grandson’s presence. Just as she was too nice to tell her grandson that she had been typing my filthy books for seven years. Lying to both of us was easier.

When I was not nice and told her she hurt my feelings, she blamed me for being far too controlling in not wanting my books password locked. And in a backhand way she was right. For, in actual fact, when she first sent the e-mail telling me she was going to password lock the document, I should have reminded her, forcefully, she was going to do nothing of the kind – if she wanted to continue working for me. Instead, I was nice and said only that she’d hurt me, expecting her to be apologetic and placatory.

When, instead, she blamed me for her position, and suddenly announced she was too stressed and sick, she was lying once again, when she should havebitten the bullet and told me it was password locking or nothing. And when I answered her, I didn’t just say “Fine, gotta let you go” I tried to end our relationship nicely and thanked her for all her work.

This may seem a good thing, but in actuality I showered her with praise every single time she worked for me. I told her she was great, reassured her; in short, convinced her she was invaluable and irreplaceable, which she wasn’t. When we went ‘bankrupt’, I paid her less to do work on two books, and apologised to her profusely and repeatedly, even although I was paying her money we couldn’t spare; and even although she had earned thousands of pounds from me during the years before. I believe this led to her feeling it was okay to tell me what she was going to do, and led to her thinking she could dictate terms. Hence her final e-mail, trying to have her cake and eat it too.

That last e-mail looks (is?) profoundly stupid, in retrospect, but why shouldn’t she think she can tell me she’ll maybe work for me some time in the future, if she feels like it? I had thanked her for being a bad employee. I had convinced her over many years that she could do no wrong. Niceness came back and bit me in the ass. Like it bit her, for that matter.

Niceness is a female affliction and it does us no good whatsoever. For any reason, at any time. Nice girls lose their typists, and their typists lose their first rate employers. Learn from this. Because one of us should, and I certainly didn’t.

Buy DANNY by Chancery Stone. She is poor and has no typist. But feels curiously free……..


My Name is Legion

Well, I duly went back to the I Write Like… site and ran random scenes from DANNY through the Magic 8 Ball. And this what it told me:

I write like
Jack London

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I write like
Kurt Vonnegut

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Last night it told me I wrote like Cory Doctorow and Stephen King, but today it decided to really go to town and mix it up.

Interestingly, when I put volumes 2 & 3 in, no matter what scene it was, it told me I wrote like Stephen King. Although it is possible the poor thing was simply exhausted by then and was just saying Stephen King over and over to save itself thinking.

So, if you haven’t read DANNY Volume 1, think of it as a Stephen King novel with surreal Kurt Vonnegut profanity and a sci-fi overtone via Cory Doctorow, with wolves (thanks, Jack). What David Foster Whatsit brings to the table, I do not know. I had to Wikipedia him, since I’d never heard of him, and he seems to have been a depressive academic who wrote experimental literary novels with long footnotes, and then topped himself.

My joy knows no bounds………

Buy DANNY by Chancery Vonnegut-Foster-Doctorow-King. It’s great!!!

Mirror, mirror, on the wall – do I write like me at all?

My thanks go to the Rt. Hon. Max Scratchmann who found this charming little toy while playing working on the internet.

I write like
William Gibson

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Apparently what it does – aside from inflating your ego with absolutely zero effort – is analyse your writing and tell you which literary genius you write like.

He fed it part of Delaney and it told him I write like William Gibson. Isn’t that AMAZING!

Yes, I had no idea who William Gibson is either. I looked him up on Wikipedia, (because that is the go-to source for absolutely all wisdom in the world, ever) and discovered he is “an American-Canadian writer who has been called the “noir prophet” of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction.”

It could have been a lot worse.

Tomorrow I’m going to put DANNY through its rigorous Magic 8 Ball analysis process and I expect glorious results.What’s more, I am going to put a sex scene through then a non-sex scene, just to see how wise this little gismo really is.

I’m betting I’m going to go from Leo Tolstoy to Gossip Columnist for The Sun in a nanosecond. Although I’m not putting money on which will be which…….

Buy WILLIAM GIBSON’S non-sci-fi CLASSIC – DANNY! It’s cybergroovy!

I see fat people…

Do YOU have amazing powers? Powers worthy of Heroes, Marvel Comics and Dr Who? Do this simple test at home…

Go to your TV, watch Gossip Girl. Do you see any fat people?

Now go to your window; look out your window. Do you see any fat people?

Congratulations! You have a unique power. You can see fat people.

Do you feel special now?

Read DANNY by Chancery Stone – no fat people, but lots of cock…

The Genius of the Crowd

beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art

by Charles Bukowski